Caguas (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈkaɣwas]), founded in 1775, is a city and municipality of Puerto Rico located in the Central Mountain Range of Puerto Rico, south of San Juan and Trujillo Alto, west of Gurabo and San Lorenzo, and east of Aguas Buenas, Cidra, and Cayey.
Caguas is located 20 miles (32 km) from San Juan. It is known as El Valle del Turabo (Turabo Valley), La Ciudad Criolla (The Creole City) and La Cuna de los Trovadores (The Cradle of the Trovadores). Its name originates from the Taíno cacique Caguax. Caguas is a principal city of both the San Juan-Caguas-Guaynabo Metropolitan Statistical Area and the San Juan-Caguas-Fajardo Combined Statistical Area.
Caguas was founded on January 1, 1775, as San Sebastián del Piñal de Caguax, with the name later shortened and modernized to its current form. Caguax was a local Taíno chief and early convert to Christianity. Caguas' construction was finished in 1779, in 1820 it was declared a valley and in 1894 it became a city.
Puerto Rico was ceded by Spain in the aftermath of the Spanish-American War under the terms of the Treaty of Paris of 1898 and became a territory of the United States. In 1899, the United States conducted its first census of Puerto Rico finding that the population of Caguas was 19,857.
In 2002, Caguas was the site of the 2002 USAF Hercules air disaster.
Hurricane Maria on September 20, 2017 triggered numerous landslides in Caguas with the significant amount of rainfall.
Caguas is located in the largest valley in Puerto Rico, the "Valle de Caguas" (or "Valle del Turabo-Turabo Valley") which it shares with Gurabo and part of Aguas Buenas. It is located approximately 30 minutes from the coastline both on the east (Humacao) and the north (San Juan), and is divided from the Gurabo portion of the valley by the river of the same name. It is east of Aguas Buenas and Cidra, north of Cayey, south of San Juan, and west of Gurabo and Trujillo Alto.